The Grizzlies are just 3-2 on the season with a point differential of +1.8 per 100 possessions, just slightly above even. However, they’ve quietly come together to survive an injury to JaMychal Green and put together a decent run. They played elite defense in their two games this week, splitting with the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns. If you remove their opening night 28-point loss to the Indiana Pacers, they’re outscoring opponents by 9.0 points per 100 possessions.
They have still only played one game against a likely Western Conference playoff team but there are reasons for optimism that they can stay in the hunt deep into the season. One of the real bright spots has been the steady and mature play of rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. His incredible preseason 3-point shooting has manifested yet, but he’s averaging 13.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in just 25.0 minutes per game. If he continues to get better as the season goes on, it will really help their cause.